Parents Sue School to Let 11-Year-Old Use Medical Pot

Illinois state law bans use of drug on school grounds
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2018 7:41 AM CST
Jack Splitt, who helped change a Colorado law barring medical marijuana from schools, wears a medical marijuana patch in Lakewood, Colo., in 2016.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(Newser) – Most parents would celebrate a school that specifically bars students from using marijuana on its premises. Not an Illinois couple. JS and MS, as they’re identified in court documents, are suing the state after a Schaumburg school district barred their 11-year-old daughter from using a medical cannabis patch and cannabis oil drops to regulate seizures resulting from chemotherapy treatment for leukemia, reports USA Today. Though medical marijuana was legalized in the state in 2014, consumption or possession on public school property remains outlawed. In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, the couple argue the statute not only makes it hard for their daughter to attend school—putting them at risk of violating a state law requiring that kids attend—but also violates her right to due process, reports the Chicago Tribune.

School superintendent Andrew DuRoss says he reached out to the Illinois State Board of Education after the family requested that school officials administer the girl's medication as needed. The request wasn't unusual—school officials administer drugs to others, DuRoss notes—but the board made clear that possessing or using medical marijuana on school premises would violate state law. District officials "share the same concerns and care about [the student] and her family in this situation … but we cannot legally grant the request," DuRoss says. The family's lawyer has asked a judge to allow the use of medical marijuana in this case, until the state law can be revisited. (A 15-year-old with cerebral palsy helped change a similar law in Colorado, per USA Today.) A hearing is scheduled for 11am CST Friday, per CBS Chicago. (Read more medical marijuana stories.)

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